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Cabinet members at Barnsley Council will be asked to consider a new model of community support services for adults with learning disabilities which would meet the needs of existing and future service users.

At their meeting on 27 January, Cabinet members will be asked to consider a recommendation that would allow external providers to tender for more of the provision of accommodation and support services for people with learning disabilities.

The recommended tendering of approximately 150 supported living placements, along with the development of new services to support young people in transition and people with more complex needs, would reduce costs by an estimated  £3.3 million over five years.

While constraining the rising costs of care for people with learning disabilities – which is a local and national trend – the remodelled service would also achieve better lifetime outcomes for adults with a learning disability, an officer’s report to Cabinet explains.

The proposed model would support people moving on from high-cost residential placements, as well as young people in transition from children’s services.

Approximately 130 council staff and 14 employees of South West Yorkshire Partnership Trust could be affected by the proposal, if approved. Staff affected would be supported through the council and partner’s managing change procedures.

Service users and family members have been involved in the planning of the new model and will be kept fully engaged in any changes that may occur. Subject to Cabinet’s approval of the report, implementation of the new arrangements will be planned around the needs of each individual and disruption minimised; an information and helpline number will be made available to service users and carers.

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